Blue Streak: Mark of the Ninja Level 1

For those of you who have ever asked what Ninja Blues video content might look like, we have an answer! Something like this.

Ninjustin here. I’ve had a plan to make this exact thing for a long time. Mark of the Ninja is my favorite game, and I’ve wanted to take it step-by-step to talk about all the little and not-so-little reasons I love it so much. This is a video-based Let’s Play, but it’s not in the Game Grumps style of just running around and having fun and laughing. That’s not to say I don’t like that style — I love Game Grumps and still watch it almost daily — but I felt I wouldn’t be doing this game justice. I wanted to do something more analytical.

Brilliant name, isn’t it? Sadly, we didn’t think of it — it came from a friend of ours who goes by Thanatos.

I’m not sure if I’ll continue with this. I probably won’t have as many things to say in every level as I did in this level. But there’s still plenty more to be seen. I could also play specific levels with specific restrictions or alternate abilities/masks. I’ll have to think about it. In the meantime, let me know if you’d like to see more, what you like or dislike about the video, ways you could think to improve it, etc.

Also: Thank you all so much for your feedback from a few weeks ago! I was expecting one of two reactions to the post: 1) nobody would comment, leaving us where we started, or 2) a bunch of people would comment to get a free game, which would be fine. Instead we got a bunch of people commenting, the majority of whom specifically asked not to get a free game. I did not foresee that outcome. It really blew me away.

I’m working on the giveaway. I was going to give out the free games through random number generation, but since I have five candidates for six games… I have something else in mind. Stay tuned.

8 comments

  1. This is a good idea, as far as I’m concerned. Doing something regularly is never bad, and you obviously have a fair amount to say about MotN – who wouldn’t about their favorite game? (How many hours/thousands of tweets have I spent talking about the Mass Effect series?)

    I dunno if you can manage bringing someone else on to the show? I really do think there a lot of plusses to doing that, but it is pretty technically demanding on your machine and creates a much more complicated pipeline. (I could probably help with that latter part.)

    I think what I’ve found most interesting about this episode is our different styles of playing. I played avoiding as many guards as I could – although this isn’t a game where you can really do a no-kill run, I don’t think – and as soon as I got the stealth outfit I never took it off. Swords, who needs swords? I never even unlocked the terror outfit.

  2. Y’know, whenever I play stealth game (or doing a stealth playthrough on stealth-optional game) I always do my best to not kill anyone. But whenever I played MotN, I cannot continue until I managed to slaughter every single living thing in the level. At first I thought it’s because of the scoring, but even after I turned the scoring indicator off I still keep slaughtering everything. I think it got to do with how slow the stealth is in this game.

    And speaking of stealth, this game should really put a warning that it works best with a controller. I played with M+KB and I almost throw it to crap category because of it (movement is really sticky with M+KB and shared-context-buttons are less tolerable than when I’m holding a controller).

    PS: I definitely would like more of this.

    1. For me, the decision on whether to kill or avoid depends on how satisfying each option is, which in turn often comes down the the design of the game. Mark of the Ninja rewards clean and inventive kills, but Deus Ex: Human Revolution penalises you by giving less XP for kills compared to knockouts, while they also make more noise. Consequently, I’m more likely to take the bloody path in MOTN, and the silent one in DX:HR.

      As an aside, Mark of the Ninja is the only game that I find to be equally playable on both M+KB and controller. (EDIT – just remembered Saint’s Row 3, so that’s a grand total of two games).

      1. After thinking about it for a little bit more, I think I found the problem. It is because I really hate being forced to wait (unless it’s because I screwed up). And I think that explains why I have so few stealth games even though I really like stealth (it’s because I like fast-stealth, and that’s rare). Really, if MotN doesn’t have terror suit, I think I’ll give it an E instead of an A.

        I also find your 2nd paragraph interesting, because SR3 is the other game that made me reach out to Ctrl+Shift+Esc instinctively. Especially during tank session, the control is so unbearable that I went and downloaded WoT (even though I hate Team-PVP).

  3. That was highly enjoyable, and that’s one of the reasons I like to see a full series. Other reasons: the game is not too long, use of different outfits and weapons can force you to switch up your gameplay in each level, and I think that the story is pretty cool.

    I’d also be interested to know if you’ve considered post-commentary for any videos. It’s not ideal for things like blind LPs, but for this sort of analytical video it can have it’s advantages. It makes it easier to have extra commentators, prevents you from being distracted mid-thought by the sudden appearance of a guard, and lets you skip/fast-forward sections of gameplay in which nothing much happens.

  4. MotN is definitely one of my favourite games; I love how the stealth mechanics work (the visual representations of light/dark and noise are fantastic, giving you all the tools you need to assess the situation ). I also like the varied playstyles the game supports. On my first playthrough of a level I always tried to be fairly pragmatic in my decision to kill or not etc, but on subsequent tries I’d generally try to give myself a challenge. Kill everyone? Not even touch anyone? It’s all doable and all fun.

    Also, with regards to the video content: Thumbs up, more please. Post-commentary may well allow for more detailed analysis, though there’s something to be said for real-time reactions. Depends what you want Blue Streak to be I guess.

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